3 Jun 2020

Extra NCEA credits, changes to UE, to help students amid Covid-19 disruption

12:10 pm on 3 June 2020

Students will be able to earn additional NCEA credits in changes aimed at supporting secondary school pupils whose learning has been disrupted by Covid-19.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins speaks to media during a press conference on Budget 2020 delivery day at Parliament May 14, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: Pool / Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

University Entrance requirements have also been modified, with agreement from universities, as have certificate and course endorsements, under the temporary changes announced by the government today.

For each 5 credits a student earns towards their NCEA, they will be entitled to an additional 1 Learning Recognition credit, up to a maximum of 10 additional credits for students undertaking NCEA Level 1, or up to a maximum of 8 additional credits for students at Levels 2 or 3.

"This approach also maintains the credibility and reputation of NCEA by basing additional credits on assessed learning," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement.

"Students can be confident that an NCEA attained this year will continue to open doors to tertiary study, vocational education or employment."

University Entrance (UE) will be awarded to students who achieve 12 credits in each of three University Entrance Approved Subjects.

They will still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet the literacy and numeracy requirements to be awarded UE.

"The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority," Hipkins said.

"As we are all aware, Covid-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the government is moving to ensure students will not be penalised, while preserving the integrity of our national qualification."

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Photo: Supplied

Hipkins has also asked NZQA and the ministry to consider how schools might collect evidence that could be used to credential the learning and skills gained by young people outside their formal school programme.

The changes have been endorsed by the NCEA Professional Advisory Group, he said.